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Donors Offer Million Dollar Match in Fundraising Efforts for Science Building

22 February 2010 No Comment

February 22, 2010
For Immediate Release

For more information: Val Hale (801) 863-8335
University Marketing & Communications: Erin Spurgeon, (801) 863-6807
Written by: Erin Spurgeon, (801) 863-6807

In a very generous and timely gesture, the Marc and Debbie Bingham family has offered a one million dollar match for any funds raised in the 2010 calendar year in support of the desperately needed new UVU science building. Debbie Bingham, a member of the UVU Foundation Board, said she has watched the University’s situation – the outstanding talent here, in contrast with the severe lack of resources – and felt compelled to act.

“Being on the UVU Foundation Board and knowing what I know about the University, I felt very strongly that this building needed to be built, both for the students and for the faculty,” Bingham said.

The Binghams’ donation is one that they hope will spur others to action, to opening up their wallets, regardless of the size of the donation. With this match pledge, every dollar (up to one million dollars) that comes in to the University for the new science building will be doubled.

“I cannot imagine a gift having more impact anywhere in Utah higher education today,” said UVU President Matthew S. Holland. “By doubling the effect of even small donations, the Binghams’ generosity signals that UVU has the capacity to support creative solutions the state Legislature is currently exploring to fund the top building need at the state’s fastest growing university. Every dollar counts at this point. We encourage the people of this region, which now so vitally relies on UVU, to give in any way and any amount they can.”

As announced by the Utah System of Higher Education last week, UVU is experiencing its ninth consecutive semester of enrollment growth, making the need for additional space paramount. UVU, now Utah’s second largest public university, currently has the lowest square footage per student (121 square feet) of any institution in the state. This shortage affects the availability of classes, lab space for the University’s student researchers and general congestion in the building and surrounding areas, and is felt by virtually every student on campus.

“It’s about the students and the quality of education they deserve,” Bingham said. “The current science site is just not adequate. Hopefully this will help.”

The state gave UVU $2.8 million last year to begin preparing planning and architecture documents for the proposed $50 million science building, which the University hopes will be approved by the Legislature for bonding this year since no revenue is currently available for capital projects in the state. Under a creative plan presented by the Capital Facilities and Government Operations Appropriations Subcommittee, UVU will be asked to come up with private donations to fund the debt service on the bond for the first few years. If the proposed plan passes, the Bingham gift and other gifts it spawns will used to cover the debt service and will allow construction of the facility to go forward this spring.

The Binghams are the founders and former executives of Phone Directories Company (PDC), one of the most successful independent publishers in the yellow page industry, and now manage Blue Diamond Capital, a successful investment firm. Marc and Debbie have six children, four boys and two girls, with 21 grandchildren and more on the way. Donations can be made online at www.supportuvu.org or by calling (801) 863-8568.

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